Soft, sleepy groans come from a sedated bear cub. He's on a sled in the snow, being pulled along like a child in a snowsuit, except his snowsuit is all fur and blubber.
He is an orphaned black bear cub, one of eight that were rehabilitated over the last year after losing their mothers. The mother bears' stories are sad, but luckily their cubs get another chance at living in the wild.
Through a partnership with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), we found remote locations on our watershed to build new dens for these cubs. They were transported from Wet Mountain Wildlife Rehabilitation to these undisclosed locations on Tuesday, January 15, 2019.
After carefully unloading the cubs from a trailer onto sleds, CPW officers and volunteers pulled the cubs into the snowy forest to their new, man-made dens. Officers carefully un-tied their paws and took covers off their eyes, transferred them to smaller sleds, and pushed them into the den. The officers crawled in after them, making sure to position them comfortably to ensure breathing and maximum snuggling.
The hope is that when the bears awaken in a warm, dark, den they will continue to hibernate until spring. We hate to say it because they are so cute, but we hope to never see these bears again. We hope they wake up in the spring, ready to spend the rest of their lives in the wilderness, away from the troubles that come with humans and urban life.
We are privileged to live in this beautiful place, and we each must do our part to protect it. As your community-owned utility, we strive to protect the environment and wildlife that make Colorado Springs an amazing place to live. Long term partnerships with organizations like CPW, the parks service and others help all of us work together to preserve Colorado's beauty.
We're happy to have these cubs on our property. We wish them the very best.